Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello all!

It has been another crazy month, but things are moving along... Mike has completed the first two weeks of his treatments for the "Intensification Phase". He has been admitted the past two Mondays and stayed through the week while he gets high doses of methotrexate and asaparaginese. These treatments made him very sleepy and nauceous. When he would come home at the end of the week he would sleep through until about Saturday afternoon and then start to feel a little better. After being released last Thursday, he had to return on Friday because he was not doing well. Fortunately, he did not have to be admitted again. The doctor gave him off this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, but he had a follow up visit with her yesterday. Everything is moving along as planned and Mike has shown good progress thus far. She did spend some time talking with us about the possibility of a bone marrow transfer. She is attending a conference next weekend where she will hear the latest research and recommendations on transplants for patients with ALL. Mike is on the fence at this point because he is not being treated as child or as an adult. Of the ALL patients, less than 5% are in Mike's age range. He is getting a combination of the pediatric treatment plan and the adult treatment protocol. I admit, I was a little shaken as she described the 100 day transplant process and informed us that the fatality rate is up to 3% for patients who do not respond well. I pray that we do not have to walk down that road. Mike will return on Monday for one more week of this phase. After he is released next week, he will not have to return again for anything in December and his treatments will continue again after the New Year. :) YAY!!! We are all very happy about that!

As Thanksgiving is among us, we are especially touched this year by how grateful we are, for so many things. Mike & I are personally asking that each of you take an extra moment to reflect on the blessings that surround you everyday. If you have a job...if you are in good health...if your mortgage or rent is paid this month...if you have insurance...if you have friends and family close by to celebrate this day with...if you have a car that gets you where you need to go...if you woke up next to your best friend this morning...if your children are happy and healthy...if you have food in your pantry or refrigerator...if you are filled by loving relationships... if you slept in a bed last night...if you have heat for your home & socks for your feet... ...PLEASE take that EXTRA moment today...close your eyes and imagine your life without each of these things.... Open your eyes and BE THANKFUL!

We love all of you so much and we are certainly so grateful for each of you and all of your prayers and support. We pray that you all have a very happy,safe & blessed Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

prayers please

I am so sorry that it has taken so long to get this update out. With Mike in the hospital, I do not have much time for writing.

Mike was admitted last Monday for this phase of his treatments. As mentioned, he is being monitored for a minimum of three days after each treatment which requires for him to be at the hospital most of the week. He is getting high doses of methotrexate and asparaginase, which unfortunately, make him feel very sick. He got to come home late last Thursday and he slept most of the time through Saturday. He was feeling better just in time for Jadeyn's birthday party and was able to join us for the evening. (Thank God!:)) We also took the kids to see "The Christmas Carol", so it was a fun time to all be together. He was re-admitted this past Monday and we are now waiting for him to be released again. Tomorrow is Jadeyn's birthday, so we are praying that he may be released early. He will not have to return for treatments again until the week after Thanksgving. I am so grateful that he will be off for the holiday!

In the mean time, I have been busy working and keeping the kids active. We are focusing on spending more quality time together and cutting off the TV and other distractions. We are all happy about it, it just gives us a greater sense of life and each other. We are trying to eating healthier, more balanced meals and spend time reading together or doing something that requires movement. :) So far, so good. It feels like a little detox from all the garbage.

I do have a prayer request above the normal everyday stuff...
Earlier this week I received a letter from Mike's former employer who carries our COBRA plan for Mike's health insurance. We have been informed that we have reached the end of our 9 month stimulus period and Mike's premiums will now be $1140/month instead of $325/month, starting in January. Before I freaked out, I took it to God and just laid it at His feet. There is nothing I can do about it. We either pay the premium or Mike loses coverage. We do not have the extra money and we do not want to continue to financially drain our family and we are trusting God that somehow, some way things are going to work out. I am going to look into an individual plan for Mike through different companies and hope that we can find something cheaper. I am not worried. God has never let go of us - ever - and I know that He wont now, but we also know that prayers changes things. SO PLEASE PRAY ABOUT THIS!!

We love you all and are so grateful for each one of you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the start of Phase 3

I hope everyone is doing well. Here is our latest:

Mike started Phase 3 on Wednesday with as CT scan. Tomorrow he has an appointment with his Hematologist to review all of his results thus far and current labs. On Monday he is scheduled to be admitted for high doses of chemo. He will need to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days so that they can monitor his responses to this new drug. If all goes well, he will be released for the weekend and then re-admitted the following Monday for another round. They are giving him off the week of Thanksgiving - :-) - so that he can be home with the family. He will have two more weeks after Thanksgiving that he will be admitted for the same treatments. So the majority of November and the beginning of December, he will be staying in the hospital. After that, he will have off for Christmas and New Years and then return for treatments after the 1st of the year. Most of his hair has grown back, but he may lose it again with this next round. We shall see…

In the meantime, Mike has been feeling well for the most part. He suffers from headaches occasionally and his energy levels are still very low. We decided to let the kids take off from school today for a trip to Orlando. We have season passes to SeaWorld, so we spent the morning there and then went to Downtown Disney (lego land, shopping, restaurants – SO FUN) for the afternoon. We had a lot of fun, but I think that all of us are really worn out (especially Mike)! It was a very nice day for all of us to just enjoy being together.

The kids are doing great in school and staying busy with their dance schedules as usual. They are very excited for the coming holidays and all of the festivities that come with them, including our trip to MD. :)

Another GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone who planned, participated and supported our Bull Roast Benefit. We raised several thousand dollars, which helped to relieve some of the financial burdens on us for a while. I don’t know how we would get though this time without all of your support!!! We appreciate all of you so much!!
We love you all!!